Public vs. Private Sector Unions Essay

Pages: 4 (1169 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Careers

Key Differences: Public Vs Private Sector Unions

Unlike the case of private sector unions, in public unions, the municipal leaders are elected which creates a political structure in the bargaining process (Reilly, 2012). Proper voting is carried out for electing leader in the public unions; but in private sector, there are very rare workers who are shareholders and can take part in the voting and selection of management.

Public sector employees possess greater power outside of collective bargaining compare to the private sector, and therefore they play an active role in affecting the decisions of management (Reilly, 2012)..

Unions in the private sector are made to distribute profits from owners to workers. This approach cannot be applied to the public sector, as government does not make profits. Therefore, it can be said that unions in the public sector have different goals and different approaches to bargaining (Troy, 1994).

Unions in the private organizations work with in the market economy and affect the economic growth, labor supply, consumer process and profits of the firms. In contrast to this, the public sector unions work as a monopolistic and sole provider of the economic resources to the private and public organizations in the bureaucratic way (Reilly, 2012).

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Public sector managers and employees both have same interest and both get benefit when a decision is finalized by mutual understanding. For instance, if the budget of the fire department is increased, than both managers and employees will have confluence of interest. The case is different in private sector unions where usually one side gets benefit while other makes a compromise. Therefore, public sector managers often welcome unions, so that voters can convince to approve the public sector budgets (Belman, Gunderson and Hyatt, 1996).

Public sector unions face a lot more government and civil service constraints and hindrances compared to the private sector unions. Therefore, public unions pass through terrible times if they break any law or spend money on antiunion consultants; which has always been a very common practice in private sector unions.

Essay on Public vs. Private Sector Unions Assignment

Private sector union employees believe that it is almost impossible to achieve goals without the cooperation of the management. On the other side, public sector union employees have a belief that organizations have a greater chance to succeed without the cooperation of management.


After comparing and contrasting public sector unions and private sector unions in detail, it can be concluded that the purpose of making unions is same in both private and public sectors. However, the goals, approaches and processes of operation are quite different in both sectors.

Despite the fact that the unions of both sectors work for improving the working conditions and wage structure of employees; the differences in the two sectors are due to the political structure of the public sector union, which is not the case with the private sector. Similarly, there are many other prominent differences, which make public sector unions very different from the private sector unions. Hence, it can be stated that there are more differences between the public sector and private sector unions and very few similarities.


Belman, D., Gunderson, M and Hyatt, D. (1996). Public Sector Employment in a time of Transition.

Industrial Relations Research Association

Holley, W., Jennings, K., Wolters, R. (2011). The Labor Relations Process, 10th Edition, South Western

Cengage Learning.

Reilly, T. (2012). Rethinking Public Sector Compensation. Whatever Happened to the Public Interest.

M.E. Sharpe Inc.

Troy, L. (1994). The New Unionism in the New Society. Fairfax, VA: George Mason… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Public vs. Private Sector Unions" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Public vs. Private Sector Unions.  (2012, July 26).  Retrieved July 4, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Public vs. Private Sector Unions."  26 July 2012.  Web.  4 July 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Public vs. Private Sector Unions."  July 26, 2012.  Accessed July 4, 2020.